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GAN MOCVD GROWTH ON NATIVE SUBSTRATES FOR HIGH VOLTAGE (15-20 KV) VERTICAL POWER DEVICES

The Ohio State University
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$2,210,816
Location: 
Columbus, OH
Project Term: 
09/16/2019 to 09/15/2022
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Technical Categories: 
Critical Need: 

As much as 80% of electricity usage is predicted to pass through power electronics between generation and consumption by 2030. Advancement in power electronics promises enormous energy efficiency gains throughout the U.S. economy. The wide band gap semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN) can significantly reduce conduction and switching losses for power electronics. While considerable research has been done on lateral GaN power switching transistors, with significant industry participation, vertical GaN devices are at a relatively less mature stage. Because vertical devices offer better scalability and are less susceptible to reliability issues than lateral devices, the vertical devices are particularly well suited for high-current and high-voltage applications. One key challenge to achieve high power operation in vertical GaN devices is to realize high epitaxial growth rates with precise doping control for the thick layers needed in these devices.

Project Innovation + Advantages: 

The Ohio State University will develop GaN semiconductor materials suitable for high voltage (15-20 kV) power control and conversion. The team will develop a unique photon-assisted metal organic chemical vapor deposition (PA-MOCVD) method to grow thick GaN films with low background impurity contamination, necessary to allow high-voltage operation with high efficiency. The thick GaN layers will be deposited by PA-MOCVD on high-quality bulk GaN base materials with reduced defects, critical to the growth of high-quality GaN films. High-voltage GaN devices will be designed, fabricated, and tested to provide feedback for further GaN material growth improvement and optimization.

Potential Impact: 

The objective of the project is to develop PA-MOCVD homoepitaxy of GaN on native substrates with a fast growth rate (15-20 micrometers per hour), low background doping, and smooth surface morphology to enable high voltage (15-20 kV) vertical power devices.

Security: 

This program will enhance U.S. technological leadership and manufacturing of vertical GaN power devices.

Environment: 

If widely implemented, this technology would dramatically reduce energy consumption-related emissions.

Economy: 

Advancement in power electronics promises enormous energy efficiency gains throughout the U.S. economy.

Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Isik Kizilyalli
Project Contact: 
Prof. Hongping Zhao
Partners
SixPoint Materials, Inc.
Release Date: 
11/15/2018